Our tags are not supposed to be personal opinions. But as with all user-generated content, we cannot guarantee they are always accurate. One step we’re taking to keep tags consistent and appropriate is moderating all new tags that users come up with. Moderating the tags on individual books is more complicated: we cannot read every book ourselves, and check whether there is really magic or just widespread belief in magic in a book, whether those zombies are magical or medical in nature, or whether or not there’s domestic abuse or merely lots of fighting in a bad relationship. We’ll have to rely on users to notify us of errors, to the degree that these things can be called errors at all, or of controversial tags.
For that reason, users will be able to dispute tags - not only the tags themselves, but also their type, relevance level and whether or not they’re a spoiler. The tag will then be marked as disputed, so users will know it might not be accurate. To avoid abuse of the feature, users will need to give a reason for the dispute, which will be visible to moderators.
In the beginning, it will be up to our moderators to solve these. They will review the reason given, research the issue, ask readers who know the book and maybe even read the book themselves. Once the site grows, we will reconsider this policy. Giving users the opportunity to weigh in on open disputes might help with crowdsourcing this task.
Sometimes, the answer will not be easy. Often, things are left to the reader to decide: Is The Count of Monte Cristo really a superhero story? Is Frodo the protagonist of The Lord of the Rings? What is Animal Farm an allegory for? These sorts of issues may never find an answer that everyone can agree is true, so instead of resolving the dispute, moderators will be able to mark a tag as permanently disputed.
If a dispute is solved, however, the tag will become protected from being disputed again - at least for a while. That way, we prevent trolling or having to make the same decision over and over. Hopefully, this system will work as intended and help ensure that our tags are true and meaningful!